Having a beautiful smile sometimes requires a bit of help. When teeth are damaged beyond repair or missing altogether, it may be necessary to use a dental implant to fill in the gap. A Family Dentistry and Implant Center can replace one or more missing teeth with dental implants that will look and act like natural teeth. A consultation can determine if this option may be a good choice for you.
Causes of Tooth Loss
Dental implants are used when teeth are missing in a patient’s mouth. Some of the causes of missing teeth include trauma to the mouth, tooth decay, a failed root canal, gum disease, congenital defects, and tooth loss sustained during an accident. No matter how a tooth was lost, a dental implant can restore a patient’s smile with an artificial tooth that is indistinguishable from a patient’s real teeth.
The Dental Implant Candidate
A dental implant acts as the root for an artificial tooth that’s attached to it. A dental professional must determine beforehand if a patient will be a good candidate for implant surgery since an implant must be able to withstand the pressure that will be exerted on it when a patient chews. During the examination, a dentist or oral surgeon will inspect all of the teeth and gums and evaluate the bone density of the patient’s jaw. X-rays and CT scans may also be done to pinpoint the best location to insert the implant and to ensure that there is enough bone available for a dental implant to stay securely in place.
Dental Implant Surgery
After an initial consultation, a patient receiving a dental implant will undergo surgery to set the implant in place. The dentist will drill a hole in the jawbone where the implant will sit and the titanium implant screw will be lowered into the hole and covered with gum tissue and a protective cover. Once the surgery has been completed, the patient must undergo a healing period, known as osseointegration, to allow the implant to fuse with the surrounding bone. Healing can take up to 6 months, after which a crown or tooth replacement will be attached to the top of the implant screw.
Missing teeth don’t have to remain that way when dental implants offer a permanent solution that will act and look like a patient’s natural teeth. Implants can restore an individual’s smile along with their self-confidence.